The Church Ministering to Rural Life
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- Rural Life, Town and Country Church, United Brethren Church, rural Life Conference, Christianity, Christian Life, Indiana, Ohio, Benjamin Harrison Cain, minister, ministering, reverend, Th.D, theology degree
Benjamin Harrison Cain. 1941. The Church Ministering to Rural Life. Dayton, OH: Home Mission and Church Erection Society, The Church of the United Brethren in Christ.
In his memoir, Plow to Pulpit, Cain says this book was his ThD thesis, published in 1941. The degree was awarded in 1942.
Table of Contents
Chapter I. The Rural Church and Our Civilization
Chapter II. Rural Church Administration
Chapter III. Problems of Rural Church Administration
Chapter IV. Christian Education and Rural Leadership
Chapter V. Rural Worship
Chapter VI. Stewardship and the Rural Church
Chapter VII. Adequate Buildings and Equipment
Chapter VIII. Fellowship and Recreation
Chapter IX. Rural Youth
Chapter X. Rural Church Publicity
Chapter XI. Home Missions and the Rural Church
Program Outlines for Rural Churches
There has been something unwise, unsafe and completely unchristian in the urban ideal which has altogether too much dominated our thinking in the last fifty years. We surely did not get from Jesus or the Bible or from history our ideas that success and happiness are found in ease and idleness, or pleasures or possessions, which are parts of the dream of city life.
Not only America but all the civilized world has been under the curse of the idea that the way of the good life is to buy and sell and get gain, to get the power to live on the toil of others, to sit at the place of toll and to have other people to be our ploughmen and our vinedressers.
The primary cause of the war, and the hate and the suffering of today, is this selfish, mistaken and ungodly ambition for power, this false philosophy of life that says, “Some must be masters and some must be slaves, and the fortunate and the successful are the conquerors.”
There is joy in work far more than in idleness, and pleasure in production far” greater than in possessions. The great are not those who conquer but those who serve. The happy are not those who have, but those who give. The climbers fall, the proud perish, and the meek inherit the earth.
The revolution that is needed is in the thinking of men. To some extent at least this revolution is going on now. We have learned something in these last ten years, and if suffering means learning we should learn more in the next ten. There is a new recognition of the failure and the fleeting nature of wealth, of the blessedness and the wholesomeness of work of the dignity and the glory of all productive toil and of the ‘sin of injustice and graft and oppression. There is ‘a new sense of the sacredness and the glory of the farmer’s high privilege of working with God amid the miracles of soil and seed and sunshine and shower. There is a new discovery of the great need and opportunity for finding life and fulfillment and of serving God, our country, and the world of tomorrow in conserving soil and souls and righteousness and religion in rural communities and the rural church.
The appointment and work of rural life commissions in annual conferences, and of the Commission on Rural Life by the General Conference, are in line with a great movement that circles the globe for the building of a Christian rural culture, for maintaining and vitalizing rural religion, and for building wholesome rural communities that shall provide for plenty and peace and progress for persons and for the world.
The first Conference Rural Life Commission of the United Brethern Church was in St. Joseph Conference in northern Indiana. Dr. B. H. Cain is the Superintendent of St. Joseph Conference and has had an active and vital relationship to this work from the beginning.
This book is based upon this experience as well as the personal experience of the author as a pastor and as the superintendent of rural churches. Doctor” Cain is a good organizer. He has the ability to plan, and then to get things done. Then he has the ability to write clearly of these plans and methods, and also of the philosophy and spirit that is essential to success. Such a book as this is much needed. We need to see what we can do and how and why. It is a valuable handbook for a rural pastor and will also have value for the pastor of a city church. I commend it most heartily.
I hope that Annual Conferences will see that all rural pastors are supplied with copies. It will be a good investment.
This book can well be made the text for study by groups of rural pastors and for study groups in local churches.
Such a study will pay but it will pay most if after the study as pastors and people we select one or more projects and then do the things that he says.
This book may be used as a textbook for course 611b, How to Administer the Local Church, of the Standard Leadership Curriculum, in classes where a special study of the rural church is desired.
O. O. Arnold
Chairman of Commission on Rural Life.
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